I Am More Than a Bipolar Diagnosis

March 29, 2016 Natasha Tracy

I am practically famous for saying, “I am bipolar,” but I still fully recognize that I am more than a bipolar diagnosis. We all are. No one is a diagnosis, no matter what it is. I would suggest that, for many of us, our bipolar diagnosis invades almost every aspect of our lives, but that doesn’t mean that we are only bipolar. We are ourselves first. I am the one who did 150 skydives – not just the one who was unlucky enough to have bipolar disorder. I am more than a bipolar diagnosis.

What Is a Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis?

I think people with mental illness have a harder time removing themselves from their diagnosis because these are “mental” illnesses and that suggests that they are us. But, the fact is, no matter what you diagnosis is – from bipolar disorder to cystic fibrosis to cancer to the common cold, all that diagnosis means is that you exhibit a cluster of symptoms. That’s it. That cluster of symptoms is just a tiny part of the you that is, truly, you.

World Bipolar Day – #MoreThanADiagnosis

March 30 (of every year) is World Bipolar Day and I hope everyone will help us make #MoreThanADiagnosis trend on Twitter as this is this year’s theme. This is the hashtag I hope you will be using in addition to #WorldBipolarDay. I want us all to spread the word – on our day – that our diagnosis is just a little piece of us but it is not who we are.

Celebrating I Am More Than a Bipolar Diagnosis – What to Do for World Bipolar Day

This effort is being supported, in large part, by the International Bipolar Foundation, a world of hope, resources and support. According to them:

World Bipolar Day is a day to remember that those who have bipolar disorder are capable of achieving great things and to remind them that they are not alone, for the general public to learn more about the disorder from people who live with it, and to learn the importance of fighting the stigma associated with bipolar disorder.

Here’s what they recommend you do for World Bipolar Day:

  • Post your photo or video with our hashtags #WorldBipolarDay #MoreThanADiagnosis and #WBDpic or #WBDvideo -- include @intlbipolar on Twitter and they will retweet you.
  • Join their Tweetchat at 12pm EST. The topic is "How are you more than your diagnosis?"

See examples of people who are celebrating they’re more than a bipolar diagnosis here. There are also resources that can help you spread the word.

I Am Not a Bipolar Diagnosis

Sometimes people think that because I write about bipolar disorder virtually every day, it makes me confused as to who I am. It makes people think that it makes me more symptomatic. It makes people think that I dwell on the negative. But this isn’t true.

Talking about all that is bipolar disorder makes it so crystal clear to me that I am not just a bipolar diagnosis. It gels it for me. It makes the delineation clear. Yes, I know that bipolar disorder does seep into every, single aspect of my existence (not true for everyone), but it still isn’t all that is me. And it isn’t all that is you, either. So scream it from the rooftops. Other people need to be clear on it, too.

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or Google+ or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter or at Bipolar Burble, her blog.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2016, March 29). I Am More Than a Bipolar Diagnosis, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 18 from

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Natasha is also unveiling a new book, Bipolar Rules! Hacks to Live Successfully with Bipolar Disorder, mid-2024.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleX, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

May, 1 2016 at 4:26 pm

Please check out my story with my diagnosis of BP disorder. It has taken a long time but I have realized too that I am more than a diagnosis.

Lisa May
March, 30 2016 at 5:11 pm

i would add that 'i am bipolar' is a statement like 'i am cancerous' or 'i am broken-legged' or even 'i am cancer' or 'i am a broken leg' (if you take the language literally, and correctly). it's ridiculous and sad. Hear, hear, natasha tracy and more strength to you!

Lisa May
March, 30 2016 at 3:59 pm

Too true. Hear, hear Natasha Tracy.

Lisa May
March, 30 2016 at 3:59 pm

Too true. Hear, hear Natasha Tracy!

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